So after all the shouting, horn-tooting and freezing on the picket line the junior doctor’s kerfuffle is over.
Extended talks ended on Wednesday afternoon.
Who has won? Apparently, that is ‘not a helpful question’. Not sporting. We are supposed to be saying; in the end both sides agreed to go forward with a deal that is in the best interests of patients, doctors, lollipop ladies and the tooth fairy.
This was a massive punch up over a contract that was ‘dangerous’, put patients lives at risk, put the future of the health service in jeopardy. This was a contract that was to see hundreds (make that thousands) of doctors moving overseas; Australia, Timbuktu and a new life in B&Q.
This was a contract that was introduced by the devil incarnate. The worst Secretary of State in the history of the world.
The man who was going to be shuffled, shredded and airbrushed into history.
This was the contract that was going to work junior doctors to a frazzle and make good men and women strangers to their children. Junior doctor’s orphans were going to be on the streets, shoeless and begging.
This was the contract that was going to spread five day staffing over seven days and bring the service to a halt.
This was the contract that was going to bring down the government. This was the contract that was worth frightening the public with. Worth pilling them up on waiting lists, cancelling their operations and outpatient appointments. As one JD told me; a price worth paying.
This was the row where the weekend effect, obvious to anyone with an eye to look along the corridor of a hosptial on a Sunday, was debated, rowed and argued over. Data prayed-in-aid, and data trashed, confused and muddied into meaninglessness.
Who has won. Dare we ask? Ungentlemanly? Divisive? Well, I traipsed the picket lines, visited the vigils and argued the toss with the strikers. I think I have the right to ask and I’ll tell you the answer; the Tinkerman. Hands down, he has won. Won buy a country mile.
He has got his weekend working at a cheaper price and the bungs to make it happen, all within the existing cost envelope. Result! What is there for him not to be happy about? The Trusts will sort out the details.
To save face for the BMA we are supposed to believe it was a score draw. It isn’t; it is ten nil to the Tinkerman.
The BMA will recommend their members vote for this. They have no place left to go. They will tart it up as a victory. Remember, if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.
The junior doctors, if they are faithful to their cause should reject it out of hand. Not enough doctors spread over too many days? Remember that?
Schedules and rotas, unworkable, slavery, the end of family life; remember that? ‘We are fighting for the future of the NHS’; what happened to that? All of this invective, principle and passion bought off with a pay cut (yes a reduction in the overall) and a nice little earner for weekend and overtime.
What a sham. What a deception. How duplicitous. What an unprincipled bunch of rogues. I will never believe the BMA again. If I can hear the sound of Big Ben and the BMA tell me it’s three o’clock, I’ll still look at my watch.
The BMA should hang their heads in shame. They have a deal they could have had months ago. They chanced their arm and lost.
In the interest of harmony, industrial relations and flower power we are all encouraged to be generous and forgiving.
Not me. The BMA have put 100,000 patients through various stages of inconvenience, distress and hell, achieved nothing, taken a pasting and the only question left is why would any doctor want to be a member?